Muskogee County EMS, OK
Nominated by Rebecca Williamson
Dave worked in Arkansas as a Paramedic before moving to Oklahoma and finding his home at Muskogee County EMS 20 years ago in 1996. In addition to his duties as a Paramedic, Dave is a Critical Care Paramedic, Field Training Officer, Advanced EMT instructor, Emergency Service Fire Instructor, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, and the Strike Team leader for MCEMS Strike Team B. Dave recently retired as the Fire Chief of the Warner Volunteer Fire Department after receiving many EMS and Fire Service commendations throughout his career, including an Oklahoma State citation for the wild fires of 2012. He also honorably served his country during a tour of duty with the US Navy Reserve as a Navy Corpsman.
Being involved in a profession that helps individuals in their greatest hour of need is a perfect fit for Dave. In December 2014, the care and compassion he has for his patients culminated in an act of bravery that resulted in Dave being awarded one of Muskogee County EMS’s highest honors, the MCEMS Valor Award. A friend, who was also a former medic, experienced an acute psychiatric event, became suicidal, and was barricaded in his home with multiple firearms. The law enforcement SWAT team had responded and set up a communication system but were not making progress. Knowing the history of this gentleman and knowing him as a former medic and peer, Dave offered to go into the home and talk to him. Without hesitating, Dave put on a bullet proof vest, went in, and was able to successfully convince the former medic to surrender his weapons and be transported to the hospital. Because of Dave’s bravery, empathy, and concern, a hurting individual was able to receive the help he so desperately needed.
Because of Dave’s outstanding professionalism and his exemplary performance, Muskogee County EMS nominates David Whitson for the TriTech Hero Award.